Desoldering Wicks & Braids

A desoldering wick or wire, also known as desoldering braid or solder wick, is a finely braided copper wire coated with rosin flux that’s supplied in a spool or pre-cut strands. It is used as a solder remover when re-working the solder or removing components that have been soldered. Desoldering braids work by applying the soldering iron to the wick while it sits on the soldered joint or area to heat them both up and them up to the melting point to activate the flux. When this happens, the solder is drawn up the wick or braid, removing the solder.

Key features of desoldering wires:

Wicks and braids are manufactured with different properties for different desoldering applications, but they can help in key desoldering tasks like:

  • Significantly reducing re-work or repair time by absorbing solder residue
  • Minimising the risk of the damage to the component or delicate electronic circuit boards that are fragile
  • Quickly and efficiently remove excess solder material while completing hand soldering rework
  • Removing components that have been soldered to connect to other components, solder bridge removal and general tidying up of solder areas or joins
  • How do you use a desoldering braid?

  • Gently place the wick or braid on top of the solder area or join that needs to be removed
  • Place the heated soldering iron tip onto the wick or braid for the temperature to reach the melting point
  • Once this has reached the correct melting point, the solder will be absorbed by the copper wick
  • After reaching the desired finish for the solder removal, remove the wick and cut off the section that has been used with a pair of sharp nippers to ensure a clean finish for the next time the desoldering braid will be used
  • Applications

    Desoldering wicks or braids can be used across a wide range of desoldering applications that help with the removal of unwanted solder or re-working old solder. The soldering braids can be manufactured with different features like being lead-free, anti-static and no-clean for an easier and more efficient desolder process. In addition to this, the absorbability of the copper braid depends on the type of solder used when removing it. Desoldering is a process that can be used across any applications where soldering is used, but it is most often used in removing solder from items such as printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other electronics, re-working and removing old solder that no longer has an effective join or taking apart electronic components that have been soldered together.


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